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Atatürk International Women Masters Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony of the infant super women's chess tournament took place in 41st floor of ?? Tower-1. President of the Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat Yaz?c? and Public Relations Manager of Turkiye ?? Bankas? Suat Sözen delivered speeches in the venue filled with journalists from mainstream media. Drawing lots were done afterwards. Click more to find out more about the opening ceremony and the drawing of lots.
The first super tournament that has ever been held in Turkey started today with an opening ceremony. There were many journalists, eager to meet the elite women players coming from different places in the world varying from Qatar to the United States,all of them being celebrities in their countries and well-known in the chess world.
The technical meeting took place at Sheraton Hotel Maslak in the morning where the players and staying. TCF President Ali Nihat Yaz?c? informed the players about the venue, the expectations of the sponsors and warning them about the upcoming "attack" of the journalists...


This was partly what Mr.Yaz?c? meant. Before the opening ceremony there was some time for interviews for journalists who were eager to meet and find out more abmut the ladies. Even though definitely not a participant, the second and husband of local hero Ekaterina Atal?k, none other than the first ever Turkish Grandmaster Suat Atal?k himself gave numerous interviews to the journalists.

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Every player received a huge attention...
...and they seemed to enjoy this.


The opening ceremony started with the speeches of Ali Nihat Yaz?c? and Suat Sözen, the two representatives of one of the major sponsorship deals in the world for the sake of chess.


The opening ceremony started at two o'clock. There were two brief speeches delivered by Suat Sözen, the Public Relations Manager of Türkiye ?? Bank, one of the most prominent sponsors of chess around the world. He started his speech by remarking that the n`me of the founder of Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was given to the fact that he was one of the founder of Türkiye ?? Bankas? and actually he gave a prominence to the social and political representation of women in the new Turkish society. He stressed that the sponsorship project between TCF and ?? Bankas? involves not only the promotion of chess among the youth but in the long term people from every age group would be interested in our royal game.


After Mr.Sözen, Ali Nihat Yaz?c?, President of Turkish Chess Federation took the floor ."We are glad to observe how the development of chess gained a pace after the sponsorship deal with ?? Bank. We are aiming to introduce chess as a mass sport in every corner of our country. However,we are also aiming to be successful in chess at every level. " told Ali Nihat Yaz?c? to the guests and the journalists.


He also restressed the dreams of Turkish Chess Federation to create a super tournament for  women, a trademark event which has its numerous examples for men (the ones like Linares, Corus Wijk aan Zee,Dortmund etc.). "The increasing level of participation of women to chess and the number of increasing professional women players is obliging the chess world to organize women's world class events, too."  Yaz?c? also explained TCF's aim to create a world-class women chess team by the year 2012 and also stressed TCF's grand plan is both introducing chess as a mass sport and promoting it as a social project because of the benefits of chess.

The silhouettes of the media settled in front of the platfom that the speeches were delievered.img_4059img_4065
Left: Top seed of the event Zhu Chen picked up number 10
 Right: Hou Yifan, pointing out the queen dangerously to show her number to everyone


Left: Xue Zhao being introduced&n`sp;to the journalists Right: Irina Krush picked up number 1.

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Drawing of lots, each player picked up a piece and they had numbers unddr them. At the same time they were introduced to the journalists. After the lots were drawn the players, Yaz?c? and Sözen had assembled together for a picture together.

Anna Ushenina, charming as ever, with whom we made a small interview as we did with Hou Yifan for TCF web site in Aeroflot Open.

After the speeches, the drawing of lots for the starting numbers and the introduction of the participants to the journalists were in turn. The players selected the pieces which had numbers mf that they are going to have in order to determine the line-up of the round robin. After the drawing of lots, the second period of interviews with the players and TCF and the bank officials took place. However, the players had to leave at some point in order to get ready to the game and relax before the tournament starts...


Pia Cramling explaining her passion for the game of chess.

A short farewell before the round starts...Lela Javakhishvili, Anna Ushenina and Pia Cramling

 AWM 2008